Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of World Theatre Day!
Created in 1961, World Theatre Day, is celebrated annually on March 27 by International Theatre Institute (ITI) Centers around the world as well as the international theatre community. Each year, a renowned theatre artist of world stature is invited to craft an International Message to mark the global occasion. This year, in honor of World Theatre Day's 50th Celebration, TCG is asked theatremakers to respond to the question of whether the next generation will be A Generation Without Borders. Award-winning actor, director and producer, John Malkovich, wrote this year's annual International Message. This speaker is especially exciting for the Chicago theatre-community since Malkovich is an iconic Member of Steppenwolf’s Ensemble. An excerpt from Sir Malkovich’s speech:
May your work be compelling and original.
May it be profound, touching, contemplative, and unique.
May it help us to reflect on the question of what it means to be human,
and may that reflection be blessed with heart, sincerity, candor, and grace.
May you overcome adversity, censorship, poverty & nihilism,
as many of you will most certainly be obliged to do.
May you be blessed with the talent and rigor
to teach us about the beating of the human heart in all its complexity,
and the humility and curiosity to make it your life’s work.
And may the best of you
(for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments)
succeed in framing that most basic of questions, “how do we live?”
While this holiday’s efforts center on theatre across the globe, it doesn’t seem like the whole globe actually cared. New York celebrated in an appropriate loud & proud manner. Chicago celebrated equally-well with a multitude of events hosted by The League of Chicago Theatres. I wasn’t able to attend any of the events, but I am glad The League put so much effort into the celebration & acknowledgement of The Day. It does not only speak well of the Chicago theatre scene, but of the audience members themselves: the fact that Chicago audiences care enough & carry enough pride to hear debates, interviews, & speeches surrounding their theatres speaks volumes on the intrinsic quality of this city's artistic community.